AUSTIN, Texas (AP) — A Texas jury has ordered conspiracy theorist Alex Jones to pay $49.3 million in total damages to the parents of a first-grader killed in the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary School massacre.
The final award handed down Friday includes $45.2 million in punitive damages and $4.1 million in compensatory damages.
The amount is less than the $150 million sought by Neil Heslin and Scarlett Lewis, whose 6-year-old son Jesse Lewis was among 19 children and six educators killed in the deadliest classroom shooting in U.S. history. Attorneys for the family had urged jurors for a financial punishment that would put Infowars out of business.
One economist testified that Jones and his company were worth up to $270 million.
The parents say they were tormented by the Infowars host’s false claims that the massacre was a hoax orchestrated by the government to tighten gun laws.
The trial is the first time Jones has been held financially liable for peddling lies about the 2012 attack in Newtown, Connecticut.
Jones still faces two other defamation lawsuits from Sandy Hook families in Texas and Connecticut.